Two months home and I’m itching like Michael Rapaport during a herpes outbreak to get back to school. My Mom walked in on something no parent should ever have to see at two in the morning last weekend, so tonight I’m escorting her to a “paint and brush” party because it’s my only shot in hell I’ll ever see a Venmo request completed again. It’s weird seeing your parents enter the empty nest syndrome stage of their lives. Between their new puppy and recent infatuation with pickleball (a sport made up by white people, for white people), I can tell they are a little bored and confused without driving a bunch of snot-nosed kids to sports practices. It reminds me of watching Vince Carter on the Hawks. Sure- my Mom can still make an antipasto that slaps harder than my Columbian neighbor after she found out her fiancé fucked someone else, but the prime of her career as a Mom has passed.
Unless I’m really hungover or in a dark room, I can’t fall back asleep like I used to anymore. I spend the first hour of my day semi-masturbating while trying to fall asleep before I give up on both and scroll YouTube conspiracy theories for two hours. I don’t know why, but you could convince me that anybody with more money than I have operates a child sex trade ring at eight in the morning. I shower, eat nicotine for breakfast, and listen to music about murder and strippers on my way to my job as a busboy. Working always goes by in waves. Some days I find myself so bored that I’m stretching while silently farting on the other side of the room from my female coworkers; other days, things are nearly as busy as a veteran-operated-beef-jerky stand at a Joe Rogan meet & greet. Today happens to be the former. My biggest challenge at work is finding out how many poops I can take while scrolling Tik Tok with two bars of sound before my boss asks me for medical proof that I have IBS (I don’t). I’m sweaty, and it’s horrible, but I find solace in the fact that I don’t have to wear a goddamn mask anymore.
My shift ends right before the dinner wave begins, and it’s time to make my Mom forgive me for walking in on me giving the girl I’ve been seeing the best ninety seconds of her life. I whip her Toyota Highlander over to paint and brush and meet “Indiga,” the free-spirit, trust-fund baby in her thirties that started this business. I pretend I know what kind of Merlot my pallet likes best and take a seat. Immediately, my Mom begins flexing that I’m her son and that this experience was entirely my idea, without acknowledging how we came to be in this position at all. My fellow participants in paint and brush rival only Tennessee Football fans for the most insufferable people on Facebook: opinionated suburban women from towns with “Patch” website . I spend the next hour of my life hearing about how convenient having Apple Pay is, answering questions about vapes, and hearing about Marrisa’s new pool cabana- all while painting a picture that could be mistaken for the work of a five year old in special-needs finger-painting therapy.
After two hours of my life, which I’ll never get back, I catch up on what’s happening in my group chat with my friends from home. Because it’s Tuesday, it looks like it’s going to be an easy night at my friend’s house, who happens to live relatively close to me. I could play the same drinking games I’ve played with the same friends I’ve had for the last seven years, ORRR I could get back into binging Lost on Hulu and see if they’re doing anything better than playing King’s Cup over a few boxes of Twisted Tea.
As my night progresses, all I’m seeing is girls forcing fun on their private Snapchat stories. I decide to stick with Lost, a small bowl, and a panic attack. I wake up the following day to my family’s new dog shitting everywhere. I miss college.